The “common” wisdom is to avoid selling your home in winter. But like so many of our norms in recent years, this is no longer the rule to live by. In fact, if you want to compete with fewer sellers, fall and winter may be the dream-time to put your home on the market. All you need to do is take these important steps to make your home appealing during this more barren, frosty time of the year.
Here are some tips and tricks from HGTV and SmartAsset on how to make your home welcome buyers with a warm glow.
Turn on the curb appeal – even at night
Night falls early in winter, so prospective buyers will often tour your home after the sun sets. Put indoor and outdoor lights on a timer and increase the wattage of your light bulbs. Keep the drapes open to allow golden light to spill into the cold night air.
Use lighting to amplify your landscape. Solar lights lining your walkway and landscape spotlights to shine on landscape features are the perfect choice. Keep sidewalks, decks and outdoor furniture free of snow. Clear leaves from your yard and garden beds. Also make sure the mulch in your flower beds is fresh and neatly piled.
Bring on the light
Lighting is your secret weapon, both day and night. A tastefully lit space becomes its best self. In the daytime, open your blinds and curtains full. This small act makes windows look bigger, brings in daylight and lets light flow into the night.
HGTV recommends experimenting with light bulbs to “find the most flattering hues for your space. A bathroom looks great with daylight bulbs (5,000 to 6,500K) and living spaces, such as bedrooms and living rooms, look best with soft white bulbs (2,700K).” Consider upgrading to all LED bulbs.
Remove unneeded area rugs from hardwood floors to maximize the natural light reflection of the wood. Illuminate dark corners with floor spots or lamps to give a cozy glow.
Show your home in all seasons
A picture is worth a thousand words when it comes to showing the glory of your home in all seasons. Put a photo album on the kitchen counter or have digital slides of your home in every season looping on a monitor.
You know that cabinet beneath your kitchen sink? Home buyers touring a home often take a look at the plumbing which leads them to open that cabinet. Tidy it up so it looks organized and appealing.
Pay attention to nooks in the kitchen and throughout the house. Don’t forget to make shower heads sparkle and dust ceiling fan blades and the inside of your dishwasher and washing machine.
Not hugging, hygge – the Danish practice of making your home cozy and inviting. Pronounced “hoo-gah,” it simply means placing pillows on the sofa, using soft candlelight and warm woods to make cozy spots for curling up with a good book. Colors should be neutral but coordinated.
It can also mean removing the TV from your living room and then repositioning your furniture for balance.
Tis the season to decorate lightly
To show your home at its best you should honor the season with your home décor, keep it simple. Use white string lights and a Christmas tree that is sized to show off your room.
Take advantage of the warmth of the season. Have holiday music playing quietly and serve freshly baked cookies and hot chocolate. Use scents lightly to charm the senses, but avoid the appearance that you’re trying to hide an unpleasant odor by over scenting.
And when the season’s through, remove decorations immediately.
With these few tips and attention to detail your winter home selling experience will be sure to succeed.
By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in residential and commercial real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620, or visit boulderco.com.